Protecting the Dream: Things to Check before Buying

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Protecting the Dream: Things to Check before Buying

We all have a picture of our dream home in our heads, most of these things are visual and simple – but don’t let these things blind you from jumping head first into signing the dotted line. There can be hundreds of small things to consider before buying, to make sure that your dream isn’t shattered by any nasty surprises.

Check in with the Local Council

When you are buying a property in the city you instantly join a neighbourhood, with the case of Auckland we are expanding and taking up space so quickly that it’s important to get use to the fact things will continue to grow and expand and your neighbourhood will do the same

Checking in with your council to check what the rules and guidelines around this are can be important. Can neighbours build an extra storey that could block your view/sunlight? What are the rules around trees on your own and neighbouring properties? Is there any other information on the district plans that may affect the property, such as hazard zones, motorway designations? Or one that constantly effects people in shared, condensed places: If the site has a shared driveway, if so – what type is it legally and what are your rights and maintenance responsibilities?

These may seem nit-picky but if one or more of these problems were to occur it can result in months if not years of organising and fighting for change or potentially having your property lose value due to unforeseen changes to the area – which is the last thing any homeowner wants.

School Zones and Heritage Sites

For those more interested in growing your property value, these two considerations are extremely important in a city like Auckland. We have covered school zones more in depth in our previous blog, but the short summary is that houses located in popular school zones tend to get higher valuations and are almost always priced higher on the market as buyers constantly wanting to be zoned in the most sought-after schools. For example, a recent report revealed that Auckland premiums can reach up to ninety percent when in certain school zones, the report revealed that Epsom Girls’ Grammar’s zone in Auckland, adds the greatest premium at 90.5 per cent to local house prices.

Another thing to consider that is quite unique to Auckland is heritage sites and suburbs.

In the last few months it has been revealed that buyers are willing to pay 5.3 per cent more to live in a ‘special character areas which contain heritage buildings the popularity and character of these buildings have effected prices in older suburbs such as Herne Bay, Ponsonby and Parnell.

Make A List – Check it Twice.

Make sure you are getting as much information from your real estate agent as you possibly can. Find out the sales history of the neighbourhood and house, for example, what have nearby properties sold for? And has the house previously been owner occupied or rented?

These along with general questions around issues of property maintenance and current council valuations and rates are incredibly important. Be sure to walk thorough the property multiple times on different occasions and in different conditions to truly get a feel for it. This will help cement your decisions, and if you’re feeling confident be sure to get a builder to do a through inspection of the property before you make an offer.

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Daniel Vernon